John DeLuca, PhD, senior vice president of research and training at Kessler Foundation, received a five-year, $468,019 grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to continue the long-running “MS Fellowship in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation” program.

This is the fourth consecutive National MS Society grant awarded to the Foundation since 2007. The awards have provided a total of $1.62 million earmarked for multiple sclerosis (MS) fellowship training for scientists working toward careers dedicated to improving the lives of people with MS. This investment by the Society is driving progress toward stopping MS, restoring function, and ending MS forever – the goals of the widely endorsed Pathways to Cures for MS to better align the global MS research community around the most promising areas to cure MS for every single person as fast as possible.

“The goal of the program is to nurture fellows’ enthusiasm for rehabilitation research with guidance and in-depth understanding of research integrity issues,” said Dr. DeLuca, the grant’s principal investigator. Foundation scientists serve as role models in the field of multiple sclerosis rehabilitation while teaching domain-specific skills and scientific methodology.

“Our postdoctoral fellowship program has a long history of success in equipping young scientists with the skills they need to improve the scientific basis of medical rehabilitation and expand effective treatment options for persons with MS and other neurological illnesses,” asserted Dr. DeLuca. “This is accomplished by providing training of postdoctoral fellows in neuropsychology, cognitive rehabilitation, and cognitive/translational neuroscience in a clinically oriented medical rehabilitation research facility,” he added.

“A unique feature of our program is highly individualized ‘research training plans’ designed by each postdoctoral fellow in close collaboration with their mentor. We feel this has been a major part of our success,” Dr. DeLuca explained. Training activities are customized to fellows’ strengths, deficiencies, and interests, which enables them to acquire and enhance skills in scientific writing and grant submissions as independent researchers.

“The interests of every fellow are nurtured so that each develops a novel line of research. Fellows are closely guided through each step of the research process, from idea curation, design, and proposal submission to data collection and analysis, culminating in publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national conferences,” concluded Dr. DeLuca.

[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, EurekAlert]